By Bertram de Souza
Chicago Tribune: Finally, Democrats and Republicans in Washington have found common ground: They’re all miffed at Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning.
Under pressure, Bunning relented late Tuesday on his one-man crusade to block a $10 billion Senate bill that extends unemployment benefits and stalls some big cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, among other things. He gave just about everybody fits in Washington and caused some anguish around the country for the people who were affected.
He is known as an irascible guy. He gave a one-finger salute the other day to a TV producer who tried to question him. He’s retiring because leaders in his own party pushed him to get out. His blockade made Republicans look callous and fed the image that they’re the party of “no.”
Except, Bunning had a very good point: Congress won’t pay for what it spends.
Bunning said he supported extending unemployment benefits and other parts of the bill — but he wanted the House and Senate to find a source for that money. “If we can’t find $10 billion to pay for something we all support, we will never pay for anything ...” he said Monday.
Bunning said the $10 billion could come from economic stimulus funds. He may often be an unreasonable, guy, but that was hardly an unreasonable request.
Remember how Democrats congratulated themselves earlier this year for instituting pay-as-you-go rules?
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